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Issue with Power Company and clearances #70986
10/18/06 11:29 AM
10/18/06 11:29 AM
2000xp8  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 33
Here's the situation.
Here in NJ, i upgraded a service on a ranch.

Service is on the side of the house, cable goes around front to a peak located on the front of the house but near the meter side.

Township inspector fails the job for not clearing the driveway for 12ft height. No biggie, GPU comes out, and says if i put a new hook in, up and to the right, they will move the wire, since it's very heavy. Plenty of wire since i left it long. I put hook in.
Today i get a call from a site engineer, they will NOT move the wire. And they want a 16ft. mast on the side of the house. And they want 18ft. of clearance for the road. No way in hell this house can get a mast of 16ft. That means i'd have to put 2 rigid pipes together, and with the distance, i don't care how many guide wires i use, in bad weather it's going to pull this pipe out.
16ft. is like 7-8ft. higher than the roof on that side of the house (it will have to be through the sofit).

Besides, the whole street had Fed Pac panels so almost all are upgraded, all with low wiring, some so low you can touch them without a ladder.
They insist, if a truck takes it out, it's going to be my fault, even though it if did happen it would take out all cable and telephone and most electrical services since they are all low, on the entire street.

It would be alot of work for me to undo my new work, and a $300 charge for the homeowner for a POA change.

BTW, the wire's lowest point on the street is now 16ft. (or close to it), and if i move the wire on the house it will go to about 17ft.

Would you move it? Or just keep argueing with them? I've had similar arguments with them, and the general conscensus around here is that they try and force homeowners to essentually pay for them to upgrade their (gpu) wiring.
In the end, technically speaking, my job is complete when the town says it passes. And the town only wants me to add less than a foot over the driveway, which as i said is easy.
When i put in for the cutting card, shouldn't gpu of told me about this?
I love how they use site engineers that rarely leave the office.

Anyone with any thoughts or experience with this type of situation?

[This message has been edited by 2000xp8 (edited 10-18-2006).]

NJ licensed electrician
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Issue with Power Company and clearances #70987
10/18/06 12:01 PM
10/18/06 12:01 PM
mahlere  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 507
New Jersey
JCP&L is a PITA to deal with. If you don't have a good relationship, you are kind of stuck. Who's the layout tech - JBA? She's not going to budge easily.

I don't have an answer, but you might be better off taking the 'L' and putting in the riser.


Re: Issue with Power Company and clearances #70988
10/18/06 02:37 PM
10/18/06 02:37 PM
Bob  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 182
Mobile, AL, USA
The required clearance over a driveway is 12 ft. The utility is required to maintain
18 ft over a traveled road. One way they can meed this requirement is to install a pole on your side of the road. They may be unwilling to do this but you might try to
get them to agree even if you had to help with the cost.

Re: Issue with Power Company and clearances #70989
10/18/06 06:53 PM
10/18/06 06:53 PM
Lostazhell  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,431
Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
I had a service that was similar to what this sounds like, but my utility planer was a lot more helpful and reasonable.. I had to move a service because the HO decided to have a spa installed literally in front of his panel (you'd have to stand in it to work on the panel [Linked Image] ) the triplex came from a pole in the rear alleyway which was up a slope from the house. The existing line was probably around 12' over the alley, along with the neighbors. SDG&E actually came and put a taller pole in, but I still had to have my riser about 7' above the roofline to maintain 3' clearance above the guesthouse in the back.. I used 3" rigid strapped to 4 pieces of shallow strut with wedge anchors into the house (The exterior of the house was brick.).
Between going through the eve of the roof and the strut support, the 150' triplex drop didn't budge it. [Linked Image]

Re: Issue with Power Company and clearances #70990
10/18/06 07:19 PM
10/18/06 07:19 PM
kencr  Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 35
Southern, NJ USA
We have a RANCH in NJ ?? WOW whoda thunk ?

Re: Issue with Power Company and clearances #70991
10/18/06 08:07 PM
10/18/06 08:07 PM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
I figure you have a few options:
  • Carefully explain you are following the NEC minimums, and willing to accept responcabilty for your work, like it sounds like you are. But I see thier point, although it say its OK, the day the 14' moving van pulls in the driveway it's over with...
  • Battle 'bot it out with them.... [Linked Image]
  • Install your own pole to clear the driveway, and swag it down to your service. (You could hang a nice light from it too.)
  • Install at the hieght they request, guy wire/support the best you can, and cross your fingers.
  • Do the same as above, and do this: I did it not long ago, and it worked well. Get a 16' X 3" Steel tube stock - weld brackets to it - bolt it to the framing of the house and support your mast and drop to it. Had conduit go through one roof-jack and massive steel pipe through the other.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: Issue with Power Company and clearances #70992
10/19/06 05:05 PM
10/19/06 05:05 PM
2000xp8  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 33
after i made this post, another guy called me from GPU.
Told me that the first guy was nuts suggesting a 16ft mast.

He told me to use a 3ft (out of the roof). I then proceeded to tell him, a 3 ft mast would net exactly the same damn height as it would to just move to the higher hook they had me install.

So he said he will go to check it out in person, how about that, 2 jackass's telling me what to do, and neither have ever been to the site.

So, i went to the house, moved it myself, to the higher hook.
Got almost 15ft over the driveway, and at least 18ft in the street.

Morons, i should of never even contacted them. I'd call and tell them not to go by, but i'm sure these guys could use some exercise.

BTW, i measure the house before it on the street, and it's like 12ft at it's lowest point, over the street, and under 8ft at the house, and they were worried about my work.

Note to self: Do NOT car the power company unless it's 100% necessary.
[This message has been edited by 2000xp8 (edited 10-19-2006).]

[This message has been edited by 2000xp8 (edited 10-19-2006).]

NJ licensed electrician
Re: Issue with Power Company and clearances #70993
10/24/06 08:10 AM
10/24/06 08:10 AM
2000xp8  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 33
They called me yesterday, and in a round about way told me i was correct, but they were just following protocol.

They seen that i moved it and said it was fine, and realized that A: There was plenty of clearance as i said there would be, and B: all the others on the street were much much lower.

I'm sure they took one look at the neighbors house and were like "holy crap", because that wire was under 8ft over about a 20ft span.

NJ licensed electrician


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